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Biden participates in celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings 2024 - drweud
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Biden participates in celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings

Biden participates in celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings

US President Joe Biden began a visit to France on Wednesday, where he will participate with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings, carried out by the Allies on June 6, 1944, with a desire to show Western unity against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. Biden hopes to take advantage of this visit to France to distinguish himself during the American presidential elections from his rival Donald Trump, mired in his legal troubles.

The American president has arrived Joe Biden In France on Wednesday. When he got off the plane in Paris, the French Prime Minister was waiting for him at the airport Gabriel AttalOn Thursday, he will travel to the beaches of Normandy (northwest) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, where he will meet British King Charles III, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr . Zelensky. Biden will then begin a state visit to France.

On this occasion, Biden will deliver a speech during the official celebrations on the beaches of Utah and Omaha Beach, where “73,000 courageous Americans” landed to “make way for the liberation of France and Europe” , as the White House says. .

Western Unit

Note that since Monday, around fifty American veterans, some of whom participated in the landing operation of June 6, 1944, arrived at Deauville airport in the Normandy region to attend the celebrations. The French president wrote Emmanuel Macron Tuesday on the X platform, “France welcomes the heroes.”

In addition, a decision with serious consequences, Russia, invited ten years ago to participate in the commemoration and a former ally of the United States and the United Kingdom against Nazi Germany, was excluded due to its invasion of ‘Ukraine.

The French presidency has made no secret of its desire to demonstrate Western unity at a time when Europe is witnessing a large-scale conflict. Macron should in particular clarify his intentions regarding the possibility of sending military trainers to Ukraine.

On Thursday, Joe Biden is due to deliver a speech at Pointe du Auc in Normandy “on the importance of defending freedom and democracy”, according to the White House. It is a message that he intends to intensify in the run-up to the presidential elections next November.

State visit

On Saturday, Biden will make his first state visit to France and Macron will receive him at the Elysée, where a banquet will be held in his honor.

The French presidency said: “80 years after the liberation of Europe, war has returned to the continent and the two presidents will discuss continued, long-term support for Ukraine.”

She explained: “This close coordination on international crises aims to prepare for upcoming international events, including the G7 summit” scheduled for June in Italy “and the (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit in NATO” in July in Washington.

Macron is also expected to launch celebrations that day. Landing In Plumelec (Brittany, West) on Wednesday with a commemoration of the resistance fighters of Brittany, the first free French paratroopers and the numerous civilian victims of the Second World War.

In the afternoon, the French president will travel to Saint-Loup in Normandy, where he will give a speech on the civilian victims who fell following Allied bombings, this town having been 90% destroyed on the night of June 6 . -7. In total, Allied bombings caused between 50,000 and 70,000 civilian deaths, including 10,000 in Normandy alone.

On Wednesday evening, Macron will also honor the memory of the inmates of Cannes prison, most of whom were resistance fighters and executed by the Germans during the landing operation.

Note that with the approach of the European elections scheduled for next Sunday, which promise to be bad for his camp, the French president has decided to extend this year the celebrations of the anniversary of the landing to three days, from Wednesday to Friday .

For his part, Joe Biden hopes to take advantage of this visit to France to distinguish himself from his competitor Donald Trump He is immersed in his legal troubles.

After the visit on Thursday to the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy, where he will meet former veterans, Biden will lay a wreath on Sunday at the American cemetery of Bois Belleau (Aine) in honor of the soldiers who fell during the First World War . . In 2018, Donald Trump refused to go there due to bad weather conditions, according to the official version.

France 24/AFP

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